On Aug. 31, 1998, a large rocket rose from the eastern coast of North Korea, arced high over Japan and struck the ocean northwest of the island nation. This wasn't the first time communist North Korea had test-fired a ballistic missile in Japan's direction. A launch in 1993 targeted a buoy floating in the Sea of Japan between the two countries. A subsequent test in 2006 fizzled, the missile falling short of its apparent aim-point. Still, the message was clear. "With what happened in the ...

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